Friday, July 30, 2010

Center of Attention

Being the center of attention,  you would think, would be a good thing.
Not so much when the leader centers you out in the middle of a meeting for not following a specific instruction on providing reports.  More details are not sought - as to why the report is not provided, or if it was and it was late, or if there were system issues (goodness knows they happen).  Simply berrating the employee for not providing the report and then making them the 'scapegoat' for all other errors or issues in the meeting is not a good way to do business.

What to do?  Pull the leader aside after the meeting and explain the situation.  Not providing excuses, but simply stating the fact.  Also express that you did not appreciate being centered out in the middle of your colleagues.  The discussion could have been taken off-line with a better outcome and understanding.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Attitude Reflects Leadership

Ever wonder when you walk into a business - a restaurant, an office, a store, a bank - why there is an atmosphere?  Not just the cleanliness or the smell in the air but a palpable feeling amongst the staff?
It's the attitude.
You need to understand that the underlying tone is any business, any community, any household, is really the reflection of the attitude of the leader.
If you have a leader who throws change at you at the checkout register, doesn't say thank-you, treats customers poorly, you will see the same from the employees in that location - if the leader can do it so will the staff.

What to do?  Always be aware of your attitude towards your team, your clients, those around you.  It will come back to you in attitude from your team, your clients and those around you.  Attitude reflects leadership - always!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Take A Stand

There are many ways for leaders to take a stand.  Most of the ways are not usually bad ways.  In fact, we would expect our leaders to take a position on many subjects, decisions and projects so that we can understand our alignment to the overall business or organization.  What happens when a leader refuses to participate in a major corporate initiative, and meanwhile, by default eliminates the team from participating?  Take it even one step further,  throughout the initiative, how can the leader ask the team why they are not participating?

This is truly a question of running-off-at-the-mouth.  This leader has put the team in an awkward position - do they participate, knowing the leader's position and therefore potentially become the object of ridicule or punishment from the leader?  Or does the team not participate and look like they are guilty of silo-thinking, not being part of the grander scheme of the company?  In either situation, the team is not able to properly function within the larger group.

What to do?  Ask the leader to advise on his position or re-think it.  Provide the leader with the perceptions that could follow for the entire team relating to their stand.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Back-Hand

Do They Really Mean it When they Say it?

Here is the story of the Back Hand (sorry, could not find adequate image!)  It's kind of like the 'back-handed compliment':

One day, after a particularly long week of meetings, where the leader of this team had been very moody, argumentative and insulting with his team, he made the following statement:
"I was told that I was not professional last week in some of our meetings and the boss told me I needed to apologize to you for my behavior."
Let me ask you this - does this statement sound sincere?  does this statement uplift the leader at all in the eyes of the team?  or is this strictly an example of how the leader can follow the boss's literal direction, without applying the constructive criticism as it was intended?

Think about if you have ever stated anything similar.  Like the back-handed compliment, this apology ends up leaving a taste of  '...ok, he may be apologizing, but he certainly lends no weight to it and it will definitely happen again...' in your mouth.

Usually when there is an apology for an action or behavior, the sincerity with which the apology is given leaves a resounding understanding that the person is remorseful and the behavior or action will not be repeated.

What to do?  Keep track of this type of statement and see if there is any commitment for implementing the constructive criticism or change in future events.  If not, you may need to approach the boss, around the leader and provide confidential feedback on how his level of insincerity is eroding trust and respect for the leader and his role.